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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:

Training Within Industry:   A series of training programs developed during WWII enabling U.  S. companies to hire and train huge numbers of new workers to replace those who had gone to war.  TWI had three main training programs, collectively referred to as “J” programs:Job Instruction taught supervisors and experienced workers how to teach people how to do work with reduced defects, less scrap and rework, fewer accidents and less tool and equipment damage.  Job Methods taught workers to make improvements methodically by making the best use of people, machines, and materials to produce greater quantities of quality products in less time.  Job Relations More »
Training Within Industry for the 21st Century
By: Patrick Graupp and Jeff Morrow | April 29, 2015
"How about a program that does for senior leaders today what Training Within Industry did for Japanese management in the 50s?" ask Jeff Morrow and Patrick Graupp. "In this still young new century, we must take the wisdom of the past and apply it effectively to the challenges of the new age.  " More »
Training Recommendations for Implementing Lean
By: Piatkowski, Marek | May 19, 2004
Articles; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
In the first part of this substantial paper, former Toyota Training Manager Marek Piatkowski offers his insights about the unique training style at Toyota and then recommends training modules for implementing lean from the basics through advanced courses. More »
Training to See Kit: A Value-Stream Mapping Workshop
By: Mike Rother and John Shook | October 14, 2002
Books; Training Packages; Workshops
The Training to See kit enables you to take people through the exercise of value-stream mapping, from selecting a product family, to mapping its current state to identify root causes of waste, mapping a leaner future state, and developing a plan to implement the future state to achieve results. The kit presents the proven approach and lessons of Learning to See, LEI’s best-selling workbook on value-stream mapping (VSM). More »
Are You Training People to Think or to Follow a Checklist?
By: Erin Urban | December 12, 2014
"Without attention to why continuous improvement is important, the purpose behind [PDCA], when tools should be used, and when to apply ideas," Erin Urban writes, "we're training change agents to do nothing more than follow a checklist.  " Urban offers recommendations for how to improve training programs and invites your ideas, too. More »
The Human Element of TWI (Training Within Industry)
By: Patrick Graupp | May 20, 2014
"When I’ve taught the TWI courses in countries all over the world, from India to Malaysia to Mexico to Germany, everyone understands and embraces these concepts because the focus on humanity is universal," writes Patrick Graupp. "These concepts transcend differences in culture and economic barriers.  " More »
Ask Art: How Much Lean Training Should We Be Doing?
By: Art Byrne | May 16, 2014
Why aren't more companies successful at Lean? Art Byrne says it has to do with an over-focus on planning and not enough learning-by-doing. "They don’t trust that a rapid kaizen approach is still the most effective way to become a lean enterprise," he writes. More »
The Roots of Lean: Training Within Industry and the Origin of Japanese Management and Kaizen
By: Huntzinger, Jim | June 14, 2005
Articles; Images
LEI CEO John Shook, the first American employee to work at Toyota’s headquarters in Japan, tells a story about struggling to adapt Toyota training materials for use by Americans who would soon be working at the start-up New United Motors Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) joint venture with GM. A Japanese colleague, seeing him wrestling with some of the concepts, disappeared into a file room at Toyota’s corporate library. He returned with a dog-eared, coffee-stained copy of the English-language manual for Training Within Industry (TWI), a program developed by U.  S. industrial leaders to support the World War II production effort. After the More »
Using Training Within Industry (TWI) Techniques for Rapid and Sustainable Problem Solving
Join us for a workshop based on scientifically-proven Training Within Industry (TWI) techniques designed to help you and your team (and the organization) learn faster. We will practice in real time through a lock-building simulation. More »
Thinking About Introducing A3 Problem-Solving? Think Twice if Leadership Isn’t Engaged
By: David Verble | July 28, 2021
Your organization’s leadership doesn’t support introducing the A3 problem-solving process, but why not introduce it into your unit or area of responsibility? Experienced lean management coach and practitioner David Verble cautions that it will be very, very hard to succeed for reasons he explains in this Q&A follow-up to a recent webinar on the A3 process. More »
Learning From The Sensei Way at Work
By: John Shook | June 14, 2021
Seek perfection by cultivating a daily discipline of mindfulness, whether in lean practice or Buddhist training, writes John Shook in his foreword to a new book by Dan Prock. More »
Understand Before You Execute
By: Jim Morgan | April 30, 2021
Leading practitioners share the benefits of understanding this principle of lean product and process development. More »
Reach for Your Mind Before Your Wallet
By: Josh Howell | March 16, 2021
Josh Howell shares how the lean principle of reaching for your mind before your wallet can mitigate risk through careful planning and a willingness to conduct experiments, noting that this kaizen mindset is particularly relevant when tackling today's most pressing challenges. More »
Lean Lessons from Cobra Kai(zen) and the Karate Kid
By: Michael Ballé | September 24, 2020
The unexpected wake-up call of the modest perfection of the original Karate Kid movie was that we need to move beyond defending this or that method of work and look to highlight opportunities of improving things beyond monetization, says Michael Balle in this reflection on the meaning of this classic movie. More »
How to Develop Healthy Habits for Mindful Coaching
By: Lean Leaper | August 17, 2020
Powerful lean coaches help others create productive habits that over time produce a type of "muscle memory" that forms a foundation for long-term growth and learning. This roundup of articles expanding on this subject ties into the forthcoming Virtual Lean Learning Experience. More »
Quick and Practical Tips for Effective Virtual Process Mapping
By: John Drogosz and Chet Marchwinski | July 24, 2020
In the wake of new lockdowns to halt the spread of the coronavirus, companies need ways for home-based team members and coaches to collaborate online to improve processes. So, in a recent webinar for product developers in the Lean Product and Process Development group, Coach John Drogosz demonstrated practical tips that you can use now for virtually mapping a process when the facilitator and team members are all working remotely. More »
Talking Coaching with Lean Sensei Crystal Davis, Rich Vellante, Josh Howell, and John Shook
By: Lean Leaper | June 21, 2019
In advance of the Lean Coaching Summit, coaches Josh Howell, Crystal Davis, John Shook, and Rich Vellante discuss the finer points of coaching others, including a working definition for lean coaching. More »
"But TPS Doesn't Apply to Us...."
By: Mark Graban | March 25, 2019
Yes, cars are not weaving looms. Patients are not cars, either. Airplanes are not cars. Electric vehicles are not the same as internal-combustion engine vehicles. We can play that “one of these things is not like the other” game all day long. A better use of time, perhaps, is to think about how TPS concepts and high-level Lean management principles can be adapted to your own setting, argues Mark Graban. More »
Ask Art: Aren’t You a Little “Old School” in Your Kaizen Approach To Implementing Lean Thinking?
By: Art Byrne | March 13, 2019
When you say “kaizen is old school” you may be seriously off track, argues Art Byrne. Focusing on tools like A3 might be popular and trendy, but companies that focus on tools have a hard time getting out of the tools stage of lean; and rarely become lean enterprises. They are taking the easy way out. More »
Learning to Help Anna Elevate Her Game
By: Jeff Smith | March 4, 2019
Anna was trained by NUMMI to identify and solve challenges via experiments with her team, notes Jeff Smith, sharing a story from NUMMI; she had been trained to set up jobs, build racks for parts, and more.  Yet evidently what she needed to resolve the issue at hand was a little practical understanding/physical help and space to think while being relaxed and not emotionally wound up. More »
No Mani Pedi, But Keepers Improve Elephant Foot Washing
By: Jeff Foster | March 1, 2019
Supporting process owners includes stepping in for zoo keepers when their better idea for washing an elephant’s foot gets rejected as this Lean Talks video explains. More »
Thinking About the Why of the What of Problem-Solving
By: John Shook | November 2, 2018
When we talk about problem-solving, what we’re really talking about here is creating adaptive capacity, the deep capability of an organization to tackle anything that comes its way, any obstacle that comes between you and where you want to go. Tackling problems one by one is what gives an organization capability for deep adaptability. More »
Jishuken, Part Two: The Power of Self-Learning
By: Mark Reich | October 11, 2018
Consider Jishuken to be an intensive effort to drive individuals and the organization to a higher level, says Mark Reich, noting that if done right, this practice should push everyone to do more and more, improving in cycles of intense, focused effort with something that leaves a strong residue of kaizen spirit behind and allows the company to sustain. More »
Getting Out of the Habit of Telling
By: Katie Anderson | August 27, 2018
In this engaging talk at the Lean Transformation Summit in Nashville, Katie Anderson talked about learning how to keep from telling others what to do. More »
Ugly Babies, Silent Enemies and Other Short Stories from a Continuous Improvement Conference
By: Chet Marchwinski | July 18, 2018
Besides the lessons, challenges, and results that belong to a company’s lean transformation, there are personal journeys as well. Here’s a summary of some we heard at a recent conference. More »
Thoughts on Coaching from John Shook and Edgar Schein
By: Lean Leaper | July 2, 2018
Excerpts from an in-depth conversation between John Shook and Ed Schein on the nature of coaching, humble inquiry, and the dynamics of organizational improvement through people. More »
Lessons From Japan: Day Three
By: Lean Leaper | June 27, 2018
Is Toyota improving productivity or developing people? What we saw today suggests not just that the answer is both but that the two are inseparable, especially when it comes to jishuken. More »
Practical Tips for Re-Engaging People with a Suggestion System
By: Steve Ansuini | June 7, 2018
Companies, responding to surveys showing that a troubling number of people are disengaged at work, respond with perks like nap pods, rock walls, and free food. Suggestions systems get overlooked. That’s too bad because the whole point of a system done correctly is higher engagement. Here are some real-world tips on starting and sustaining a system from an experienced lean practitioner. More »
What Are the Most Valuable Ways You Learned Lean?
By: Deborah McGee | June 6, 2018
Each approach to learning lean brings value into my work and improves my capabilities. There isn’t one way (for me) to get there. Each situation called for a different approach, and each approach to learning showed me a different dimension, making lean thinking more accessible, deepening my understanding and developing my practice, says Deb McGee. More »
Why 'Yes Chef!' Is No Longer the Answer
By: Richard Vellante | May 22, 2018
In order to meet the changing demands of today's restaurants, chefs must learn to evolve from old-school methods of the "brigade system" and learn to be more mindful, holistic, and ask better questions, say Legal Sea Foods Executive Chef Rich Vellante More »
Lean Roundup: Respect for People
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | May 14, 2018
Respect for People is one of the most abstract and yet most concrete tenets of lean, a guiding principle that informs how people work, coach, and lead. This roundup of writings reveals a wealth of perspectives on how lean thinkers convert this ideal into tangible ways of thinking and acting. More »
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